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Below is a list of important articles that have impacted the delivery of spinal services in the UK.

As new publications become available, we will update this page.

Back pain surgery

Scott-Young, M., et al., Comparison of Mid- to Long-term Follow-up of Patient-reported Outcomes Measures After Single-level Lumbar Total Disc Arthroplasty, Multi-level Lumbar Total Disc Arthroplasty, and the Lumbar Hybrid Procedure for the Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease. Spine, 2022. 47(5): p. 377-386.

Angus, M.L., et al., Development of a physiotherapy-led atraumatic back pain pathway: a novel initiative to improve the management of complex back pain in the emergency village. BMJ Innovations, 2020. 6(4): p. 233-238.

Saltychev, M., M. Eskola, and K. Laimi, Lumbar fusion compared with conservative treatment in patients with chronic low back pain: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 2014. 37(1): p. 2-8.

Abbott, A.D., R. Hedlund, and R. Tyni-Lenne, Patients' experience post-lumbar fusion regarding back problems, recovery and expectations in terms of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Disability & Rehabilitation, 2011. 33(15-16): p. 1399-408.

Fairbank, J., et al., Randomised controlled trial to compare surgical stabilisation of the lumbar spine with an intensive rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic low back pain: the MRC spine stabilisation trial. BMJ, 2005. 330(7502).

Fritzell, P., Hagg, O, Wessberg, P, Nordwall, A and the Swedish Lumbar  Spine Study Group, Volvo Award Winner in  Clinical Studies:Lumbar fusion versus nonsurgical treatment for chronic low back pain:a multicentre randomised controlled trial for the Swedish Lumbar Spine Study Group. Spine, 2001. 26: p. 2521-2532.DOI 10.1097/00007632-200112010-00002


Carreon, L.Y., et al., Differentiating minimum clinically important difference for primary and revision lumbar fusion surgeries. Journal of Neurosurgery Spine, 2013. 18(1): p. 102-6. DOI 10.3171/2012.10.SPINE12727

Brox, J.I., et al., Four-year follow-up of surgical versus non-surgical therapy for chronic low back pain. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, 2010. 69(9): p. 1643-8.


Koremans FW, Chen X, Das A, Diwan AD. Changes in Back Pain Scores after Bariatric Surgery in Obese Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 1;10(7):1443. DOI: 10.3390/jcm10071443. PMID: 33916220; PMCID: PMC8036450.

Whedon, J.M., et al., Initial Choice of Spinal Manipulation Reduces Escalation of Care for Chronic Low Back Pain Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries. Spine, 2022. 47(4): p. E142-E148.

Kamper, S.J., et al., Multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation for chronic low back pain: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 2015. 350: p. h444.

McGregor, A.H., et al., ISSLS prize winner: Function After Spinal Treatment, Exercise, and Rehabilitation (FASTER): a factorial randomized trial to determine whether the functional outcome of spinal surgery can be improved. Spine, 2011. 36(21): p. 1711-20.

Christensen, F.B., I. Laurberg, and C.E. Bunger, Importance of the back-cafe concept to rehabilitation after lumbar spinal fusion: a randomized clinical study with a 2-year follow-up. Spine, 2003. 28(23): p. 2561-9.


Hanhivaara, J., et al., The Association of Lumbosacral Transitional Vertebrae with Low Back Pain and Lumbar Degenerative Findings in MRI: A Large Cohort Study. Spine, 2022. 47(2): p. 153-162.

Kasch, R., et al., Association of Lumbar MRI Findings with Current and Future Back Pain in a Population-based Cohort Study. Spine, 2022. 47(3): p. 201-211.

Sääksjärvi, S., et al., Disc Degeneration of Young Low Back Pain Patients: A Prospective 30-year Follow-up MRI Study. Spine, 2020. 45(19): p. 1341-1347.

Panagopoulos, J., et al., Do MRI Findings Change Over a Period of Up to 1 Year in Patients With Low Back Pain and/or Sciatica?: A Systematic Review. Spine, 2017. 42(7): p. 504-512.

Cauda equina syndrome

Planty-Bonjour, A., et al., Cauda Equina Syndrome: Poor Recovery Prognosis Despite Early Treatment. Spine, 2022. 47(2): p. 105-113.

Interventional pain management

Price, C., et al., Radiofrequency denervation of the lumbar facet joints: guidelines for the RADICAL randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Pain, 2020: p. 204946372094105.

About the NSN

The National Spine Network (NSN) is an active multi-professional collaboration dedicated to the implementation of the best evidence for the management of spinal disorders through the National Back and Radicular Pain Pathway. The strength of the network lies with its members, learning from each other’s vast cumulative knowledge and experience to promote excellence in clinical care.



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